By: Yusuf M Hasan
HARGEISA (Somalilandsun) – The National Election Commission –NEC is scouting for an agency to coordinate election observers.
Though NEC is yet to choose, the ultimate agency to coordinate international election observers Progressio INGO seems to have preference number one.
According to a letter, availed Somalilandsun NEC has requested Progressio to spearhead international election observers coordination during the imminent local council elections slated for 28 November 2012.
While Progressio is has not yet responded to the NEC request submitted on 21 September, the UK registered charity is competent for the duties having actively participated in the country’s democratization from as far back as the early 2000’s.
Progressio, which receives its funding from the UK Department for International Development (UKaid), trusts and individuals, has operated in Somaliland for a decade implementing activities in diverse fields in partnership with local NGO’s.
The UK Charity conducted similar international Election observer coordination for NEC during the country’s 2005 parliamentary and 2010 presidential elections.
The NEC letter to Progressio signed by the election body’s chairperson Eng. Ali Yusuf Hamari, dated 21 September read in part:
You may aware that Somaliland is scheduled to hold local district council elections on 28 November 2012, and as the statutorily incorporated commission responsible for overseeing the process, we wish to invite your organization (Progressio) to send international observers to witness this significant event.
NEC welcomes a diverse range of international observers, and is particularly keen to ensure a strong representation from African countries. Unquote
Various administrations of the unrecognized Somaliland with the full support of the entire citizenry have validated unwavering commitment to the country’s democratization process initiated in 1991.
The fledgling democratization process has received worldwide acclaim due to the witness borne by International observers who have been an integral part of the very successful national referendum, as well as three elections namely: local council-One, Parliamentary-One and two presidential polls.
In fact, the latest presidential election held in 2010 elevated the status of the country internationally after a peaceful handover by Ex-president Rayale to incumbent Silanyo whose Kulmiye overwhelmed the then Ruling UDUB party at the polls.
The handover in peace and democratically astounded many since many had determined, wrongly, that Somaliland would succumb to post-election mayhem similar to Kenya, Zimbabwe, Ivory Coast etc.
If Progressio accepts the NEC request, the Development planning unit at University College London shall support it in the coordination and accreditation of international election observers for the local council elections slated for 28 November 2012.
Before assuming its current name of Progressio, the UK charity was known as the Catholic Institute for International Relations (CIIR),
For a recent 2012 election research conducted by Progressio and titled “Local elections will be tough test for democracy” follow this link